The International Society for Civil Liberties and Rule of Law (Intersociety) has accused the Nigerian police intelligence response team of planning to assassinate the entire family of Nwachukwu-Egole in the Orlu local government area of Imo State.
According to the group, the IRT and other security agencies targeted the family which belongs to Sabbath Christian Faith.
It alleged that some members of the family have already been abducted and killed and that their places of worship have been destroyed.
The group which is also known as Intersociety said security agents have succeeded in killing members of the family identified as “Pastor Cletus Nwachukwu Egole, who was killed extra-judicially in detention at Abattoir in Abuja in July 2021 and Pastor Chinedu Nwachukwu Egole, killed extra-judicially in detention at Tiger Base, Owerri in June 2021.”
Intersociety also said, “Another key member of the family and father of five children, Mr Eugene Nwachukwu Egole and first son of the slain Pastor Cletus Egole, Chinemeze Nwachukwu Egole were also abducted and has disappeared since February 2021.”
The group revealed this in a statement made available to SaharaReporters on Saturday.
The statement was signed by the Board Chairman, Emeka Umeagbalasi; Head, Democracy and Good Government Department, Chinwe Umeche; Head, Civil Liberties and Rule of Law Department, Obianuju Igboeli; Head, Campaign and Publicity Department, Chidimma Udegbunam, and Deputy Head, Policing and Law Enforcement Department, Chibueze Nwajiaku.
In the statement, Intersociety alleged that the residence of the family was invaded by IRT and Army on the 13th February, 2021 where Cletus Egole, his wife, Ifeyinwa and their eight children were abducted in the early hours.
The statement reads in parts, “The Nigerian Government and its security forces have been engaging in mindless ethno-religious profiling and terrorization of citizens subscribing to Sabbath Christian Faith and related others in Eastern Nigeria, especially those under the umbrella of ‘the African Instituted Churches’.
“Without provable and indictable pieces of evidence, the security forces including Police IRT, RRS and others and soldiers of the Nigerian Armed Forces and their joint forces under ‘Special Forces’ as well as operatives of the Department of State Services (DSS) have been going about in frenzy, abducting members and leaders of the Faith, destroying their properties including homes, sacred places of worship and livelihoods and killing them at will after being taken into custody or at the point of their arrest or abduction.
“The Nwachukwu-Egole family is located in Orlu in Imo State, South-East Nigeria and comprised of three principal heads and nineteen children including a Pastor at Synagogue Church/head of Egole Family (Cletus Egole, father of nine children), a Pastor at Pentecostal Church (Chinedu Egole, father of three infants), a businessman (Eugene Egole, father of five children), a pharmacist wife of Pastor Cletus Egole (Ifeyinwa Egole, mother of nine children), a maternal grandmother (Evelyn Mgbenwa) and their nineteen children most of whom are underage, from two to 16 years.
The family is presently in disarray and at high risk of being wiped out (familicide) by the Intelligence Response Unit of the Nigeria Police Force (Police IRT) and soldiers of the Nigerian Army, known as “Special Forces.”
“The two oldest among the nineteen children in the family are the first son of the head of the Egole Family (Chinemeze, 25) and the family’s first daughter (Deborah Chidozie, 23). Deborah has remained in hiding since February 2021 and dropped out of her School of Nursing at Okigwe. The 19 affected children and their parents are: 1. Nine children of slain Pastor Cletus Egole: Chinemeze, Deborah, Iruoma, Ekperebuike, Promise, Mmerichukwu, Solomon, Peculiar and Emmanuel. 2. Five children of missing and presumably murdered Eugene Egole: Mmesoma, Mmasi, Ebenezer, Favour and Chigozirim. 3. Three infant children of slain Pastor Chinedu Egole are also at high risk, starving and endangered. His nursing wife has abandoned her matrimonial home to escape being killed. 4. Their maternal grandmother (mother of Ifeyinwa Egole), Madam Evelyn Mgbenwa and her two underage children: Blessing Ngozichukwu Okafor and Emmanuel Okafor are also in hiding, starving and at high risk.”
The Intersociety further revealed that, “Personnel of the Police IRT at ‘Tiger Base’ in Imo State and those at the Force CIB/IRT Abattoir, Abuja have extra-judicially killed two principal family members in their custody and they are: Pastor Cletus Nwachukwu Egole, who was killed extra-judicially in detention at Abattoir in Abuja in July 2021 and Pastor Chinedu Nwachukwu Egole, killed extra-judicially in detention at Tiger Base, Owerri in June 2021.
“Another key member of the family and father of five children, Mr. Eugene Nwachukwu Egole and first son of the slain Pastor Cletus Egole; Chinemeze Nwachukwu Egole were also abducted and been made to disappear since February 2021 by the combined team of the Police IRT and military personnel called ‘Special Forces.’ They are most likely to have been killed in captivity.
“As if the above conduct atrocities were not enough, the Imo and Abuja IRT personnel also abducted the pharmacist wife of the slain head of the Egole Family (Pastor Cletus Nwachukwu Egole), Mrs. Ifeyinwa Nwachukwu Egole, mother of nine and 45 years of age. They vandalised and burnt down her pharmacy store. She was later taken to Abuja IRT Abattoir, where she was mercilessly tortured, dehumanised and presently held in chain since February 2021 without trial. The arsonist security personnel also burnt beyond recognition the Family House and the Synagogue Church of slain Pastor Cletus Nwachukwu Egole.”
The group further said, “The invasion and burning of the Nwachukwu Egole Family took place when a combined team of Police IRT and Army personnel targeted and attacked the slain Pastor Cletus Egole’s family on the 13th of February 2021 at about 4:30am and abducted the entire family members, including Pastor Cletus Egole (60), wife, Ifeyinwa (45), and their eight children.
“The first son of the family, Chinemeze, 25, was not at home. The invading security personnel also ran riot on their family house and Synagogue by setting them ablaze and burning them beyond recognition through the use of explosives and petrol bombs. They also returned and set a Pharmacy store belonging to the slain Pastor Cletus Egole’s wife ablaze and burnt same beyond recognition.
“The underage children of slain Pastor Cletus Egole were also abducted and taken into custody where they were tortured, starved, traumatized and held for seven days, after which they were ordered to be reporting to the police station on daily basis. Since then and after the release of the tortured and traumatized Egole’s children, they have returned home and become homeless-with no shelter, clothes or food for them.”
The group disclosed how Police IRT framed and killed Pastors Cletus and Chinedu Egole in their custody.
It said, “The Police and Army had upon the mass arrest of Pastor Cletus Nwachukwu Egole, his wife, Ifeyinwa and their eight children accused them of ‘being related to and shielding their first son, Chinemeze, 25, a member of IPOB who killed some security personnel in Dec 2020’.
“The Nigeria Police Force Headquarters, Abuja later twisted same and accused Pastor Cletus Egole of ‘being one of the masterminds of various attacks on security personnel in different parts of the Southeast’, that he ‘provided spiritual cover, his house and farmland for members of his gang to plan their nefarious operations.’”
Intersociety, therefore, called on international organisations to get justice for the oppressed family and many others being allegedly harassed by the Nigerian government.
“The congregated and aggregated attention of the United Nations, especially its bodies responsible against arbitrary arrest and detention, torture and other inhuman treatments or punishment and extrajudicial and unlawful killings or executions as well as the UK, US and Canada governments and the European Union and international rights bodies is drawn and called to intervene as a matter of extreme urgency and importance.
“The above-named respected international governments and inter-governmental and non-governmental organizations and others are prayed to mount intensive and sustained pressure on Nigerian Government and leaderships of the Nigeria Police Force and the Nigerian Army to investigate the conduct atrocities speedily and conclusively to ensure their discontinuation and fish out and punitively punish their perpetrators.
“The Nigerian Government must be prevailed upon to free the Egoles including Mrs Ifeyinwa Egole who has been detained since February and discontinue all forms of persecution and terrorization of all the children of the Egole Family, numbering nineteen and other relatives. The death in custody of Madam Ifeyinwa’s husband and her husband’s youngest brother including their slain bodies’ whereabouts must also be disclosed. The Police IRT and the Nigerian Army must be further compelled to fetch dead or alive the disappeared two other senior members of the Egole Family: Eugene and Chinemeze.”